If anyone tuned into Sunday Night Football and couldn’t definitively say Khalil Mack was the best player on the field during the first half, what were you actually watching? The newest Chicago Bears pass rusher absolutely terrorized the Green Bay Packers for a mesmerizing 30 minutes.
Mack, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker, had one of the most impressive stretches that you’ll ever see in football during the second quarter and made the Oakland Raiders look pretty foolish for trading him to the Bears last week.
The now highest-paid defensive player in NFL history certainly earned his pay check this week after missing the entire preseason.
Mack, who just signed a six-year, $141 extension, finished with three tackles in his debut, including a scary sack that temporarily injured Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, while also stripping Green Bay backup quarterback DeShone Kizer and then later intercepting Kizer and returning it for a 27-yard touchdown.
For those keeping track, that’s three tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, and one touchdown.
Goodness. Who wouldn’t want a game-changing linebacker in his prime on your team?
After Oakland could not agree to an extension with the superstar linebacker it selected No. 5 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Raiders sent the former Buffalo standout and a second-round pick to the Bears in return for two first-round picks.
What’s crazy is it looks like the Bears got an absolute steal, even if it was just one half of dominating football.
Mack, the two-time First-Team All-Pro and 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, held out all of training camp and didn’t start the game, yet he still played 70 percent of defensive snaps.
Somehow, the Bears lost 24-23 to the Packers, mainly because Rodgers is insanely good, but Mack certainly made his presence felt.
“I prepared all offseason for the first game of the season and I wanted to… make and impact,” Mack told the Associated Press. “But you want to win these games. That’s the only thing on my mind. I hate losing.”
If Mack plays like this all season, which would not be surprising, then Chicago will win more games and Oakland will look foolish for trading Mack, no matter who they draft down the road.